- pregnancy and sexual health
- hormonal issues, such as menopause
- gynaecological disorders, such as endometriosis
Dr Morton's Test Kit© for menopause
When should a woman see a gynaecologist?
The medical field of obstetrics and gynaecology deals with all problems 'down below', including:
- vaginal prolapse
- vaginal discharge
- vaginal dryness
- bacterial vaginosis
- heavy periods
- sexual health, including contraception
- hormone problems, including hormone replacement therapy
- cancers of the cervix, womb, ovaries, and other nearby structures
It also deals with pregnancy and reproductive health. GPs can deal with many of these conditions alone, but if a specialist opinion is needed, a doctor of obstetrics and gynaecology is the person to ask.
Dr Karen Morton, Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and founder of Dr Morton’s
"The scope of obstetrics and gynaecology is enormous, from period problems to pregnancy, ovarian cancer to vaginal discharge, and HRT to excessive facial hair. It is a medical and a surgical speciality, by which I mean that gynaecologists have to think, as well as wield a knife. It bridges the gap between the stereotypes of physicians and surgeons. We are both."
What is the difference between an obstetrician and a gynaecologist?
Most doctors in this field, like Dr Karen Morton, do both obstetrics and gynaecology because they are closely related, but there are subtle differences between the two.
An obstetrician is a doctor who looks after women when they are pregnant. Midwives generally manage normal, uncomplicated pregnancies, but if there are complications of pregnancy, an obstetrician gets involved.
Equally, an obstetrician will need to be present if there are problems during delivery. For example, they may need to deliver babies who get stuck in labour using forceps or a ventouse suction cap, and in some cases, they may need to do a caesarean section. Other complications of labour, such as haemorrhage or nasty vaginal tears, are also the remit of an obstetrician.
A gynaecologist looks after all ‘women’s things’ when they are not pregnant. Of course there is a fine line between the process of trying to get pregnant (fertility) and pregnancy itself, particularly in regard to early pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
In many countries, having your own obstetrician gynaecologist is as common as having a trusted hairdresser or dentist.
The most common gynaecological queries
The most common queries that our GPs and gynaecologists deal with include the Mirena
A useful side effect of this is that the Mirena
Some women our doctors speak to worry about the negative side effects of the coil, such as weight gain and increased bleeding. Find out more about this in Dr Karen Morton's video). If you still have concerns, one of our doctors would be more than happy to have a chat with you.
When a woman goes through the menopause, her body effectively becomes oestrogen deficient. Without oestrogen to 'nourish' the vaginal tissues, they lose their moisture and elasticity, and become thin and dry. This can result in vaginal dryness, or 'atrophic vaginitis'.
- painful sex
- bleeding after sex
- vaginal discharge
- itching 'down below'
Vaginal dryness can be easily treated with
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes disturbed. Symptoms include:
- mucosy discharge
- white or grey vaginal discharge
- pain in the vagina
- abnormal odour
- burning in the vagina
- cloudy vaginal discharge
BV is not serious for most women, and in around half of women there are no symptoms. For those who experience that fishy vaginal discharge, the problem can be very embarrassing, so don't suffer in silence - have a look at
Another common worry is a cervical smear test result. Regular cervical smear tests are very important, even when you get older, and not everyone realises this.
The test is looking for abnormal cells in the cervix (the entrance to the womb), which might be cancerous cells, or might show that there is a high risk of cancer developing. Nowadays we know that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, so the smear test also looks for the types of HPV virus which are known to be suspicious.
Most smear test results show that everything is normal, but for one in twenty women, the test will show abnormal changes. Most of these changes don’t lead to cancer, but in some cases, it may be better to remove the area of abnormality. If you have an abnormal smear test, don’t panic - Dr Morton’s approachable doctors can reassure you and answer any questions.
Other problems we can help you with
- young women who are worried about why they haven't started their periods yet ('late menarche')
- pruritus vulvae (itching down below)
- frequent urination or urine leakage
- menopausal symptoms (including hot flushes
- abdominal pain in women
- prolapsed uterus and vagina
- excessive facial hair growth ('hirsutism')
- Cervical cancer symptoms
- Overcoming pruritus vulvae
- Menopause - it doesn't have to be like this
- Testosterone - I don't think so
- Cystitis and urinary tract infections
- Detecting fibroids with imaging
- PMS - a montly curse that can be lifted
- Periods and endometriosis